Over the last fifty years, archaeological excava­tions have been conducted at a number of Mauryan sites in north-west India and the Ganges basin. In the excavations conducted at Kumrahar and Bulandi Bagh near Patna the remnants of the grand palace of Chandragupta Maurya have been found.

Excavations at Kausambi, Rajagriha, Pataliputra, Hastinapuri, Taxila, etc. have enabled us to reconstruct the historical developments of the period. The northern black polished (NBP) ware was the common pottery type used throughout the Mauryan Empire with the excep­tion of southernmost areas.

Art Evidence

Similar to archaeological evidence is the related material termed by some historians as ‘art remains’, which include the remains of the Mauryan Stupas, Viharas and the animal capi­tals surmounting the pillars on some of which the Edicts were inscribed. We will discuss in detail about these art remains at the end of this chapter.